No Regrets

Are you ready for the holiday? By now I hope you’ve all made your lists and checked them at least twice. Here in The Zone, we’re wired and ready to go. And my guests this week have some great advice for enjoying the holidays without regret.

Local author, Julia Havey, is revolutionizing the weight loss world with her simple approach to healthy eating. I talked to her about her latest book “The Vice Busting Diet”. It’s full of common sense tips for making the best choices for you. You can enjoy your favorite goodies and not gain those extra pounds that seem to creep up this time of year. Julia is a true testament to her own program. She’s gorgeous, fit and healthy and she shares her story and all of her hard-earned knowledge and offers it free on her website! Listen to Julia and then partake of her delicious recipe below. Julia Havey

For more about Julia and her story, check out her website at

    Slow-Cooked Stuffed Cabbage with PGX (Serves 4) 

    12 to 14 large green cabbage leaves
    1-1/4 lb. ground turkey breast
    5 grams PGX unflavored granules (1 scoop)
    2 large whole eggs, plus 1 egg white
    1 white onion, minced
    2 tbs. minced garlic
    1 Fuji apple (or any), chopped
    1 cup cooked long grain brown rice (1/2 cup dry)
    1 tbs. dill weed
    2 tbs. fresh parsley
    Pepper (to taste)

    Cooking Sauce:
    1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
    2 small white onions, sliced thinly
    1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
    2 small white onions, sliced thinly
    1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
    3 tbs. fresh lemon juice
    1 tbs. paprika
    1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce


    1. Fill a large pot with 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Place cabbage leaves in boiling
    water for 3 minutes. Drain and refresh under running cold water to stop the cooking
    process. Dry on paper towels and set aside.

    2. In a large bowl, combine raw turkey breast, eggs, onion, garlic, apple, cooked rice,
    dill weed, parsley, and pepper. Mix well.

    3. Place the cabbage leaves on a work surface. Divide the filling equally between the
    cabbage leaves, putting about 1/4 cup of the turkey-rice mixture at the bottom of each
    cabbage leaf and roll up, folding in the bottom and sides to enclose the filling. Set filled
    leaves aside.

    4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic;
    sauté until onions are limp, about 4 minutes. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients and
    cook, uncovered, for another 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

    5. Place half of the sauce in the bottom of a 4-quart or larger slow-cooker. Arrange filled
    cabbage leaves, seam side down, on top of the sauce, making several layers. Spoon
    the remaining sauce over the cabbage rolls. Do not stir.

    6. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours or on HIGH for 3-1/2 to 4 hours.

    Split-Pea-GX Soup

    1 pound dried split green peas
    3 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced add to shopping list
    1 large yellow onion, chopped
    1 cup baby carrots, chopped
    1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
    1 tbs. dried thyme
    2 bay leaves
    2 tsp. sea salt
    freshly ground black pepper to taste
    1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
    2 tsp. liquid smoke seasoning
    4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable stock
    5 grams PGX unflavored granules (1 scoop)
    2-1/2 cups water


    1. In a large bowl, soak the peas for 4 hours in enough water to cover them by 2″. Drain
    and rinse.

    2. In a slow cooker, combine the peas, celery, garlic, onion, carrots, parsley, thyme, bay
    leaves, salt, pepper, oil, and liquid smoke. Add the stock.

    3. In a medium bowl, combine the PGX granules and water. Stir to thicken. Add to the
    slow cooker. Mix.

    Pasta a la PGX
    (Serves 6)

    1 pound whole wheat pasta
    1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
    3 stalks celery –chopped
    1 red bell pepper –chopped
    2-1/4 ounces black olives –sliced
    4 ounces fresh grated parmesan cheese
    1 – 2 scoops PGX unflavored granules
    3 green onions –finely sliced
    16 ounces reduced calorie/lite Italian salad dressing

    Cook chicken in water to cover with 1 bay leaf. Bring to boil and cook for 30 min. or until
    juices run clear. Allow to cool. Or, you can bake the chicken if you prefer. Cut it into bite
    size pieces. Drain noodles. Add all ingredients and mix well. Serve warm or cold.

    Greek Style PGX Pasta

    6 fresh baby artichokes
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    1/2 lb whole wheat pasta
    1/2 cup tomato juice
    2 TB olive oil
    Juice of one lemon
    2 cloves garlic –minced
    3 TB fresh parsley
    3 TB fresh basil –or 1 tsp dried
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp black pepper
    1/2 cup fresh tomato –chopped
    1/2 cup olives – Kalamata
    5 grams PGX unflavored granules (1 scoop)
    2 TB capers
    1/2 cup feta cheese –optional

    1. Cut stems off artichokes. Peel off tough outer leaves to reveal yellow-green hearts.
    Cut artichokes into quarters. Combine 1/4 cup lemon juice with 2 cups water in a
    medium bowl. Add artichokes to lemon water and toss to prevent discoloration. Drain.
    Steam artichokes until tender, about 20 minutes. chill.

    2. In a large pot, drain and rinse pasta with cold water.

    3. To make salad dressing: combine tomato juice, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, parsley,
    basil, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and puree for 30 seconds.

    4. Toss together artichokes, pasta, capers, olives and feta cheese in a large bowl salad
    bowl. Pour dressing over and toss well.

    PGX Peppy Guacamole

    2 medium avocados, ripe
    1/4 cup red onion, diced
    1/4 cup diced white onion
    1/2 cup seeded and chopped tomato
    1 tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
    juice of 1 lime
    1/2 tsp. salt
    Pinch of cayenne pepper
    5 grams PGX unflavored granules (1 scoop)


    1. Chop avocados and throw in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients.

    2. Mash mixture with a potato masher or a fork until it’s the consistency you like.

    3. Serve with corn chips.

    PGX Pudding

    Here is a simple pudding recipe that can be made in many flavors:

    1 cup cold soy or almond milk, whatever flavor you want (I like chocolate)
    2 tbs. DaVinci syrup of choice
    5 grams PGX unflavored granules (1 scoop)
    1 tbs. cream
    Stevia to sweeten

    Stir together liquids. Sprinkle PGX on top, then quickly stir in without clumping it. It
    mixes pretty easily in cold ingredients. Let set for 10-15 minutes or so, then eat or

    Julia’s Favorite Strawberry Pie Cheesecake
    1 cheesecake/pie, serves 6


    1 cup graham cracker crumbs
    1/4 cup ground flaxseeds add to shopping list
    1/4 cup oat bran
    1/3 cup water
    5 grams PGX unflavored granules (1 scoop)


    2 cups 1% cottage cheese
    5 grams PGX unflavored granules (1 scoop)
    3 ounces fat-free cream cheese
    3 scoops strawberry or vanilla whey protein powder


    1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
    4 tbs. sugar-free strawberry jam


    1. Coat a 9″ pie pan with cooking spray.

    2. In a large bowl, combine all of the crust ingredients. Stir this mixture until it’s all the
    same consistency.

    3. Press the crumb mixture into the pie pan, easing the crust up the sides of the pan.

    To Make The Filling:

    4. In a blender, combine all of the filling ingredients. Blend on
    high until smooth and creamy.

    5. Pour the filling into the crust. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

    To Make The Topping:

    6. In a small bowl, mix together the strawberries and jam.

    7. Spread the topping over the chilled pie.


    PGX Nut Butter Balls –THE healthiest best christmas cookie ever!
    (makes about 20 balls)

    1 cup chocolate hazelnut butter
    1/2 cup almond butter
    1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (med shred works best)
    2 TBS wheat germ
    3 TBS dark Agave syrup
    1 scoop NF vanilla Whey powder
    5 grams PGX unflavored granules (1 scoop)
    2 TBS toasted sesame seeds
    2 TBS shredded coconut

    Mix butters together, add coconut and wheat germ, mix well. Then add Agave syrup,
    Whey powder and PGX until fully mixed. Roll into balls, then roll in a mixture of toasted
    sesame seeds and coconut. Will make about 20 balls. Enjoy right away and refrigerate
    any that may be left.
    For a truly healthy snack use only organic ingredients. You can use any type of nut
    butter that you prefer.

My second guest this week has also battled some demons. For Mark Tuschel it was alcohol that eventually lead to the end of his marriage. Mark talks frankly about his struggles in his book “Living Sober Sucks but Living Drunk Sucks More”. He offers up some “tough love” ideas about getting and staying sober. I thoroughly enjoyed my interview with Mark. He’s one of those rare individuals that makes no apologies, tells it like it is and definitely walks the walk (okay, enough cliches for one posting). Listen to Mark and then go check out his website to learn more about him.
Mark Tuschel

How Much is That Doggie In The Window?

This past week I had the privilege of interviewing an icon of country music, Emmylou Harris. This multi-talented woman is also a humanitarian and animal rights activist. She has opened her home to create a haven for dogs that are in danger if being euthanized by Metro animal shelters. Bonaparte’s Retreat is named for her beloved “road dog” who now sends blessings from doggie heaven. Emmylou’s organization is also an adoption and foster care agency that helps these four-legged bundles of love find forever homes. Coming up on Saturday, Corroboree Spa is hosting a fundraiser and doggie holiday celebration. Listen to what Emmylou has to say about her love of dogs, and then head over to Corroboree Spa for a fun-filled morning with your dog.
Emmylou Harris

Are you looking for something fun to do this holiday season? Well, once the ice melts, head over to historic Belmont Mansion for some holiday cheer and a dose of artful culture at Nashville’s largest home. Belmont Mansion has a fascinating history and an amazing art collection and it’s on the beautiful grounds of Belmont University. You might think you’ve seen it all in Nashville, but you haven’t. I talked to Mark Brown who is the Executive Director of the mansion and he has some wonderful stories to tell for all ages. Don’t miss it. Here’s what Mark has to say. Mark Brown

And, if you need to visit the County Clerk’s office, you now have a beautiful new place to conduct that necessary county business. County Clerk John Arriola tells me beginning on Monday, December 20th he will now be located at the Howard Office Building at Fulton Complex, 700 2nd Avenue South. So check out the new County Clerk digs!

And finally, are you freeeeeeezing???????? Looking for some great reading? Be sure not to miss my show on Sunday where you can learn about a great book that gives you all you need to know to have a rewarding and fun family celebration. I’ll be talking to author and teen coach Margit Crane. Don’t miss it!! I’ll also be talking to local author and healthy eating guru Julia Havey about how to stay healthy over the holidays while still enjoying your favorite foods.

Keep warm everyone and……”be careful out there!”

Whatever Happened To….?

Do you believe the snow flurries this morning? This California girl is freezing inside her pumps! How I long for a pina colada under a palm tree with the sound of the waves and a nice ocean breeze…

After an interview, I often wonder what happens next to the folks who are doing some really great things in Middle Tennessee. Last summer I talked to the owner of Maples Wedding Cakes, Jay Qualls, about his audition for a new reality show. When last we spoke, he was working on his audition dvd for TLC’s “Next Great Baker” series to be filmed in New York City. Well, our very own Jay was chosen and has now completed the challenging show. We’re not sure how well he did, it’s an inside secret and we’ll just have to watch the series to find out. But, this past week, I talked to Jay again about his experiences and he has lots to dish about! Take a listen, and then tune in to tonight’s premiere at 8:00PM on TLC. The show runs for the next eight weeks. Heeeeeere’s Jay! Jay Qualls

Some local businesses really become part of the fabric of a city. And so it is with Feltus/Hawkins Designs, an architectural/design firm here in Nashville. It’s run by the husband and wife team of Marjorie and David Feltus-Hawkins and the duo are celebrating their 20th Anniversary in business. I talked to Marjorie about the challenges of working with your spouse, surviving an economic downturn and her fabulous residential and commercial designs. Check it out! Marjorie Feltus-Hawkins

And, coming up next week and beyond, you’ll want to listen for some great events and happenings during the holiday season in Middle Tennessee. And, check out the link for My ADD Brain to learn more about having a truly peaceful family gathering.

Keep warm Nashville!

What Do Tuna And Cookies Have In Common?

On this week’s show, I had the distinct pleasure of talking to one of the most talented people ever! Jaston Williams is one of the stars and co-creators of “A Tuna Christmas”, now playing at TPAC. He even brought along one of the inhabitants of the uber-cool, charming town of Tuna, Texas. Jaston and his partner-in-crime Joe Sears have been bringing their “Tuna” shows to audiences around the country for the better part of 30 years. In fact, I’ve seen the guys and their merry band at the historic Pasadena Playhouse, in Pasadena, California (home of the Rose Bowl and Tournament of Roses Parade). And, last night, my hubby and I were in the audience for the opener of this gem and let me tell you, it is laugh out loud, tears in your eyes funny!!!!! People around us were screaming! DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW!!!!!!! For tickets, check out the TPAC website link on this blog. Now, listen to Jaston and friends. Jaston Williams

Do you love to bake? Have you ever been part of a cookie club? Author Ann Pearlman, author of the fabulous novel “The Christmas Cookie Club”, has created a phenomenon! Her book is so engaging, cookie clubs are springing up all over the country, and right here in Nashville! And, she’s followed up the novel with a cook book chock full of cookie and appetizer recipes so you can start your own Christmas Cookie Club. I talked to Ann about her books and the legacy of the cookies! Ann Pearlman
And, when you get a chance, check out Ann’s website at

And, coming up this Sunday, I’m talking to a local wedding cake designer who will be appearing on a fun new show on TLC! Check out Jay Qualls at